Do You Make These 7 Keto Mistakes?
You’re going to make mistakes. Guaranteed.
But that’s the good news.
Because if you’re making mistakes it means you’re in the game.
And If you’re reading this, it also means you’re human. It’s what we do.
It's not that you're not cut out for this: You’re normal.
The good news is we can also learn from someone else’s mistakes.
Weight stalls, plateaus, and even weight gain can happen if you fall into those traps and they’re frustrating.
Here they are so you can learn from them and avoid the setbacks.
1. The Sugar Chameleon
Sugar is as ubiquitous in our food supply as Starbucks is on every street corner.
But unlike the welcoming, stylish, and cozy coffee bar… sugar lurks, hides, and disguises herself from you, the unassuming consumer.
She’s covert. She takes on different names and aliases to conceal her identity.
If you’re not careful with this devious chameleon, you fall prey.
Beware of where she lurks:
Sauces, marinades, salad dressings. They might be thickened with flour or cornstarch, sweetened with honey or brown sugar.
Fake foods labeled “low carb”, “sugar free”, “net carb”. They’ve got:
- sugar alcohols like sorbitol, maltitol, and xylitol
- sugar aliases like dextrose and maltodextrin
- fake “fiber” ingredients.
They raise your blood sugar, and they behave just like sugar.
Fruit. They’re sweet. The alias is fructose.
Alcohol. Light beer and wine may be low carb. But it’s not that easy to stop at one glass, is it? The chameleon strikes back.
Over-the-counter medications. Cough medications and antacids could have sugar in them. Read the label, and ask your doctor or pharmacist.
2. Protein The Size of Texas
How much protein is too much?
Expert recommendations vary between 0.6 – 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
That’s between 40 grams – 136 grams of protein per day for someone who weighs 150 pounds.
Yes, it’s a wide variation.
So how do you know how much you should eat? And how much protein does that look like?
- Look at the size of your palm.
- That’s around 3 oz of meat or approximately 21 grams of protein. It ain’t a perfect way to measure. But it’s a good start.
- Eat less protein if you’re not losing weight, eat more if you feel weak.
Choosing fatty cuts of meat will also help you stay in the ballpark:
- rib eye
- chicken wings and thighs
- pork belly
- salmon, tuna, mackerel.
Think Trader Joe’s, not Costco.
The ketogenic diet is low carb, moderate protein, and high in fat.
High protein is not recommended because protein raises insulin, and excess protein can turn into sugar. This promotes fat storage and prevents fat loss.
3. Fat Phobia
Combining low carb with low fat won’t look pretty: you’ll be hangry and exhausted … you might quit.
Fat gives you energy in the absence of carbs.
Please don’t deprive yourself of this clean, reliable fuel.
It’s been over 50 years since the war on fat began. So it makes total sense if you’re still afraid to embrace it. We’ve all been taught to avoid it our entire life.
But you can take heart from the truth: There is no evidence that saturated fat is associated with heart disease.
- sour cream
- heavy cream
- coconut oil
- olive oil
- real butter
- full fat cheeses
- whole-plain Greek yogurt
- fatty cuts of meat, poultry, seafood.
One of the secrets to staying on track is to eat fat to satiety.
Fat keeps you full and energized so it becomes a sustainable way of eating.
4. Fat Mania
You don’t need to avoid fat.
But you also don’t need to force it.
- Forcing it means drinking bulletproof coffee with meals instead of as a meal replacement.
- Forcing it means snacking on fat bombs in between meals instead of having a high fat meal that keeps you full until the next meal.
You won’t lose fat if your body’s too busy burning the fat you’re forcing in, that it can’t get to burning your stored fat. You may even gain weight.
Use fat wisely… with your meals.
Use it as a weapon against fatigue so you can stay on track.
Use it as leverage to keep you full so you won’t feel the need to snack.
5. The Caloric Fear Factor
Just as we’ve been told to avoid fat, we’ve also been told to eat less, control portions, and count calories to lose weight.
But the biggest perk that comes with keto is that it suppresses your appetite naturally.
Take advantage of it:
- Eat when you’re hungry.
- Eat until you’re full.
Don’t be afraid to overeat because your hunger is already reduced.
If you try to eat less you may end up not eating enough, and then you might be forced to battle with The Snack Attack.
6. The Snack Attack
Snacking in between meals or eating more often throughout the day won’t “rev up” your metabolism to help you lose weight.
It’s quite the opposite.
Snacking promotes weight gain because the thing it will “rev up” is your insulin – the hormone that makes you store fat.
If you’re thinking about doing one thing to change to break through a weight stall, try this: Don’t snack.
Maybe you’re really hungry. Wait for your next meal. Try walking, doing a chore, or a task. The hunger wave will usually pass. But if you’re still hungry, turn this would be snack into a full meal so you’re not adding to your eating frequency.
Maybe you’re snacking out of habit. Replace the habit. Try that walk, or have unsweetened coffee or tea instead.
Maybe you’re not eating enough during meals. Eat more, or add more fat to your meal to help you stay full until your next meal.
7. The What-The-Hell Effect
Slip ups happen. But that’s not the issue.
Well, since I’ve already blown it with this pizza bite, I might as well have the full slice… and another. Oh, what-the-hell, I’ll have a beer – and that cookie!
Researchers call this downward spiral the What-the-Hell effect.
But there’s a way out.
Behavioral science says it’s self-compassion… in other words – forgive yourself.
Guilt and shame make you feel bad after a slip up.
These negative feelings make you “let yourself go” in an attempt to make yourself feel better.
But if you forgive yourself, the bad feelings dissipate and you won’t feel the need to keep eating in order to feel better.
So instead of saying “What-the-hell”, try this …
It’s okay. I’ve been doing real well. And I sure-as-hell haven’t ruined my long-term goal.
Because if you don’t feel bad about something, you won’t feel the need to fix it.
Why perfect won’t give you results either
Learn from others’ mistakes. Do your research. These are all smart strategies.
But there’s a downside to chasing perfect.
Perfect can keep you from getting started, because it can get you stuck from fear of making mistakes.
Perfect can keep you from going, because it can trick you into thinking you’ve ruined it when mistakes are just part of the process.
Instead, try to give yourself permission to make mistakes.
It gives you freedom to act and freedom to keep going despite the setbacks.
Because that’s where results come from: consistent action over time.